Collections › OSMG Collection › Pincushion Clamp

Pincushion Clamp

Artist/Maker:
Welfare, Daniel\Painter –Petersen, Karsten\Turner
Place Made:
Salem North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
1820-1840
Medium:
wood –paper –paint –fabric
Dimensions:
HOA 6 3/4: WOA 2 1/4; DOA 2 1/4
Accession Number:
711.15
Description:
DESCRIPTION: Pincushion clamp with cherry lathe-turned wooden frame with wooden screw to clamp to table; wooden base made of poplar and screw made of hickory; faded black (now brown) cardboard box-shaped top surmounts wooden frame; this padded black silk pincushion and sides of box are covered with black paper and are decorated with watercolor painted sprays of flowers on three sides and an oval flower wreath on the fourth side; gold paper strips surround the top and bottom of box; pincushion covered in faded black silk and has painted roses in center.

The account book of cabinetmaker Karsten Petersen (1776-1857) includes entries for dozens of “Nehscraube”, or sewing screws, purchased for use by the Girls’ School. They could be attached to a table top and are equipped with pincushions over small storage compartments for needles and thread. Salem painter Daniel Welfare (1796-1841) is credited with painting the delicate floral sprays adorning the boxes attached to the wooden screws.
This is similar to pincushion #711-15 painted by Daniel Welfare.

MAKER: The dawn of the nineteenth century brought new woodworkers to Salem. One of these, Karsten Petersen (1776-1857), born in Schleswig-Holstein and probably trained in Christiansfeld, Denmark, arrived in 1806 only to leave shortly thereafter to serve as a Moravian missionary and tradesman at the Creek mission established by Colonel Benjamin Hawkins, the chief United States agent to the Creek Indians.
While in Georgia, Petersen made spinning wheels and looms to sell to the native Americans and was occassionaly called upon to make case furniture for Benjamin Hawkins and others in the area.
Karsten Petersen returned to Salem in 1813, set up a turner’s shop and probably focused on the production of chairs, tables, and some textile equipment such as reels and spinning wheels. Before long, Petersen married Susanna Praezel, and established his own shop on lot 94 in the Old Single Brothers’ Slaughter House. By the end of the first quarter of the nineteenth century, Petersen’s establishment had transitioned into a shop that also produced case furniture in the new classical style.

Petersen married Agnes Susanna Praetzel (1787-1856) in September 1816 and the couple eventualy had five children, four of whom lived to adulthood.

Petersen was joined in the shop by his sons William (1817-1898) and and James (1827-1906). Both apprenticed in the shop of their father when they came of age (William ca. 1830 and James ca. 1840) and later worked in the shop as masters. Together, the two generations operated one of the most important cabinet shops in nineteenth-century Salem. Although there were other cabinetmakers in Salem at the time, some of which were founded by Petersen apprentices, such as Jacob Siewers, the Petersen shop is credited with defining the style of mid nineteenth Salem furniture. The Petersen school of cabinetmaking shows the influence of Danish-born Karsten Petersen and his sons as the two generations worked side by side. After their father’s death in 1857, William and James continued to operate the shop until the end of the nineteenth century.

ADDITIONAL MAKER: The first Salem-born portrait and landscape artist to work in Salem was Christian Daniel Welfare (1796-1841) (German Spelling is Wohlfart). Welfare was born to Johann Jacob Wohlfart (1755-1807) and Anna Elisabeth (m.n. Schneider). Daniel’s father was a joiner, minister, and later a missionary to the Cherokee at the Moravian mission at Springplace, Georgia. At fourteen, Daniel worked briefly in the Single Brothers’ joinery as an apprentice on probation (1810-1811) before he and his (by then widowed) mother decided he was not suited to the work.

Daniel began intense study in in the Boys’ School in 1812 in preparation for teaching and eventually became a full-time teacher in 1814. A victim of poor health for much of his life, Daniel was forced to leave the school and seems to have worked in the joiner’s shop of his brother Thomas Welfare beginning in 1816 as his health permitted. In 1819 he requested permission to “establish himself in his trade” in a room of the Boys’ School. Presumably, he would have been painting because the Aufseher Collegium was willing to consider the request if Daniel was willing to have some teaching responsibilities as well. Ultimately, Welfare did not wish to abide by that stipulation so he was allowed to have a room in the Brothers’ House instead. In March 1824 the Salem Elder’s Conference minutes note, “Single Brother Da. Wohlfart has gone to Pennsylvania on a visit and to perfect himself in the art of painting.” Thomas Sully agreed to accept Daniel as a student.

Returning to Salem in November of 1825, he had established himself as a painter in Salem by 1826 and in 1829 petitioned the Salem Board for permission to build a gallery on Lot 36 where he lived with his wife Catherine (m.n. Hege) (1805-1890) whom he had married in 1828. Welfare served as tavern keeper (1831-1833), but continued to paint during that period as well. He also served at times as a sick-nurse. Daniel was involved in community matters and served on various Church boards. He was elected as a delegate to the Synod and traveled to Herrnhut, Germany, for the Synod conference in 1836. His passport is among the documents preserved in the Wachovia Historical Society scrapbooks.

In 1839 Daniel moved from Salem to the former Shuman plantation located to the southeast of Salem. Never a healthy person, Welfare suffered from several illnesses during his European travels and had never fully recovered. A final severe illness in 1841 (possibly tuberculosis) ended his life at the age of 45. Welfare left behind his wife, Catherine, and their three children.

History:
HISTORY: The paper box top of this sewing clamp is said to have been painted by Daniel Welfare for Miss Susan Rights (born 1820), later the wife of Dr. Theo Keehln. It was then given to Helen E. Vogler in 1900 when she was 4 years old. A hand-written note addressed to “Helen Elizabeth Vogler, Salem, N.C.” accompanies the pincushion and says: “This screw was painted and given to Miss Susan Rights wife of Dr. Theo Keeln in 1820 by Daniel Welfare. She gave the same to Helen E. Vogler Nov. 9th 1900 she being the first of the fifth generation in the Welfare generations. 1st Daniel Welfare 2nd his daughter Amanda W. Spach 3rd her daughter Leonora S. Goslen 4th her daughter Birdie G. Vogler 5th her daughter Helen E. Vogler 4 years old Aug 3rd 1900. Grandma”

The account book of cabinetmaker Karsten Petersen (1776-1857) includes entries for dozens of “Nehscraube”, or sewing screws, purchased for use by the Girls’ School. They could be attached to a table top and are equipped with pincushions over small storage compartments for needles and thread. Salem painter Daniel Welfare (1796-1841) is credited with painting the delicate floral sprays adorning the boxes attached to the wooden screws.
This is similar to pincushion #711-15 painted by Daniel Welfare.